Author: Richard Sternberg
DNA May Be “Junk” at One Level But of Utmost Significance at Another
It is during the latter stages of the production of an animal oocyte that many functionalities of what some disparage as “junk DNA” take center stage.
Chromosome Dynamics Has Egg-centric Features
In the words of Robert Rosen we have to “drastically reconsider what is meant by “genetic information.’”
The “Why” of the Fly “Y”: Reflections on “Junk” DNA
Let us give some thought to the Y chromosome of Drosophila melanogaster, that engaging fly which is the bond-servant of genetics.
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MagiMold� works because of prions, special proteins that allow a cell to evolve before its DNA does.
Let’s Do the Math Again
Earlier today I criticized Calvin College biologist Steve Matheson’s incorrect view of “junk” DNA. Matheson had argued in February that the human genome contains about 190,000 introns (stretches of non-protein-coding DNA that interrupt protein-coding genes), of which “only a handful” had important functional roles. “How many? Oh, probably a dozen,” he wrote, “but let’s be really generous. Let’s say that a hundred introns in the human genome are known to have ‘important functional roles.’ Oh fine, let’s make it a thousand.”On the contrary, I pointed out that at least 90% of genes are alternatively spliced, meaning that 0.9 x 190,000 = 171,000 introns are involved in alternative splicing, an essential process that helps to ensure that the proper proteins are Read More ›